Tag Archives: improv

Mint Swirl, Bound and Entered

Most everyone voted for a red binding earlier; I agreed. So red it is. Riley Blake confetti cotton red. Luckily I’d bought a couple reds and a darker teal when I was RB shopping.

Since today is the final day for submitting to the Modern Quilt Guild’s Riley Blake challenge (#mqgfabricchallenge), it is a good thing the weather, my quilt holder’s schedule, and my schedule cooperated for the photo. (The binding has been stitched for about a week.) I lost a little width and length because the sides were more irregular than I’d realized when measuring earlier. After trimming to the smallest on each side, I ended with a quilt 49 x 68. Close enough to the 50 x 70 goal.

Mint Swirl bound

49 x 68

Does it look like the quilt is defying gravity?  I was in such a hurry to catch the sunlight just right that I neglected to have the top on top, so yes, the photo is rotated.

Back story begins here 

Just in case you don’t read back to the beginning, I’ll repeat my design source.  I was following Sherri Lynn Wood’s Score #9, Get Your Curve On from her Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters.



Filed under quilting

Riley Blake Piece Almost Finished

About ten days ago I was arranging pieces (here); now it is quilted.

I was about to quickly sew one seam to make the back. Luckily I had the smarts to lay it out before stitching (I had cut the yardage in half, though).  Oops. I’d needed 3 yards, but purchased only 2, operating from memory, not measurements and math. Must have been memory of a smaller quilt. Since the quilt needed to be made of Riley Blake fabrics for the challenge, I got out the print pieces left over and found enough to add. (There went all hope of eking out enough of the background for binding.) So I ended up with this.

RB back

Someday I’ll hire a full time quilt holder and take straight photos, meanwhile the sofa will have to do.  The mood of the back is quite different from the front. The main fabric was purchased with more red planned for the front and sharper divisions between pieces.

All along I had oriented the top this way.

RB quilting started

When I finally got it quilted, I reversed it.

RB quilted

And I like it better this way. Not sure why. Maybe the two aqua rows were too top heavy the first way.

The quilting is fairly simple: lines following the long curve made with the walking foot; the red curves free motion quilted–some zigzags to flatten the lightest red wedges, an X in the triangle print, and nothing on the red with white dots. All the rest a moderate size meander.

I gave brief thought to doing fancier quilting, different in each wedge.  However, because I’d preferred the blended look to a graphic look, it seemed unifying the pieces was a better choice this time.

I still have plenty of time to bind it by April 30. (And the Threads of Resistance piece is quilted too, but that is another post.)

ETA: Linked with Freemotion by the River and AHIQ


Filed under design, quilting

Floating Squares 2, Step 2

In a non-quilting day in which to ponder step 1; I decided that squares would not do the Utopia fabric justice; plus I had odd-shaped pieces left from the first quilt.

So I opened up the ‘design bed’ and laid out the leftover pieces, considered where each of the three Floating Square segments (predominantly red, predominantly green, predominantly aqua) would go, then laid out the “squares” accordingly.

city2 layout 1

Blue tape marks goal of 50 x 70

In case you didn’t guess, the arrangement is subject to change. This looking and rearranging is the part of improv that I enjoy the most. The only thing that hurries me on is the need to fold up the Hide-A-Bed; it takes up the whole living room walking space.

I remember now the ah-ha from the first try; I need more big squares. So I cut a bunch in each of the colors and am ready to start stitching.

I think using left overs from quilt 1 qualifies this as a scrap quilt even though some of the solids are new yardage, so I’ll be linking to Oh Scrap! (button in sidebar).


Filed under design, quilting

City Fabric

I love this fabric:

city fabric

Utopia/Frances Newcombe/Art Gallery Fabrics

I looked at it longingly, then resisted. However, for Christmas I got a gift certificate, so I indulged. I brought it home to see how many solids I had already that would work with it–then I will shop some more to fill in the gaps.

The trouble is I don’t think it was intended to be cut up.The flow of the repetitions, the modulations of the landscape from the red detailed city to the blue silhouetted and gray silhouetted skylines, to the outlines. Moving the other way, the aqua alternating with the green and yellow and the outlines.

I am not usually one who has difficulty  cutting up fabric. But I am studying this one to see what shapes will retain that flow.  Not a big center with borders. That seems too easy. Besides, while it is out for study, I can read a book and glance up occasionally and see if a new idea has surfaced. Pondering and procrastinating are kinda related.

I’m leaning toward improv using Sherri Lynn Wood’s Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters (review here–I have reread and bought the book since that review), but which “score”?

I’ll link with Molli Sparkles Sunday Stash and will go see what others have found.

ETA: First quilt finished from fabric



Filed under design, quilting, Uncategorized